Spotify considering new windowing service

Spotify considering new windowing service

According to The Wall Street Journal, the most popular music streaming service, Spotify is seriously considering a major change to their model. Last year when Taylor Swift was about to release her smash hit new album 1989, demands were made to make this hotly anticipated release only on the premium paid tier. When Spotify refused, Swift completely withheld her album to be available on Spotify and in a knockout blow, made it available on Spotify's new major competitor, Apple Music.

Now Spotify is considering introducing "windowing" on their popular music streaming service. There has been no official announcement which artists or albums will be windowed or what length of time will be involved when these new albums will finally be released to the free advert based users but they have seem to done it recently with Coldplay. Will Spotify be windowing more new album titles in the future? We are curious to see if there will be any public backlash?

The global head of public policy for Spotify, Jonathan Prince confirmed that there has been some recent discussion with Coldplay about releasing this different windowing model for their new album A Head Full Of Dreams. The end result was that Spotify has made the Coldplay album to subscribers only since the release date last Friday. They will make it available to the Spotify's free users at the end of this week. Will other albums have longer periods than one week before every Spotify users can listen to some new releases?

Withholding new major album releases on Spotify would be a major shift in their strategy. Let's talk about the music streaming alternatives out there in Australia.

It is interesting to note that their biggest competitor, Apple Music offers new users a 90 day free trail period to use their music streaming service. Once the 90 days are up, there is no free option with adverts. Apple Music certainly is a lot more clunky to use, compared to Spotify and the size of the music libraries on file is comparable. They both quote 30 million songs and we must be clear to note that you can't stream every song in the iTunes catalogue on Apple Music. That would be wishful thinking.

Spotify currently has over 30 million songs on file, which are all available for free, as well as on the paid premium subscribers. The only difference between the two services is that free users are unable to stream onto their mobile devices (mobile phones or tablets) and have to put up with the occasional annoying advertisement. Premium paid users also can listen to a higher quality audio ad-free and they can also download music and listen to it offline.

The current worldwide breakdown is that 55 million listeners use the free Spotify service, while another 20 million pay. The Australian monthly charge is $11.99 per month, which personally I think is kind of outrageous when you can get video streaming from Netflix for only $8.99 per month. No wonder so many more people around the world have opted to use the free service.

What music streaming services do we recommend here at The Dwarf? Locally we have numerous choices from Spotify, Apple Music, JB HI-Fi Now, Google Play Music and more. There are other services that offer a streaming radio like Pandora, iHeartRadio, Rdio but you can't choose to listen to an album with these alternative internet radio offerings.

If you want the best music quality, use Tidal since it is the only lossless CD quality music streaming service. The downside is that it is $23.99 per month. Who can afford almost $300 per annum to stream some music?

If you want to pay for a service, we highly recommend Spotify at $11.99 per month. Personally we would like to see music streaming monthly charges to be half of the video streaming services that are currently available but don't hold your breath in that happening in the near future. The Spotify library is very extensive and the easy to use intuitive interface on your computer or mobile devices is the best design out there.

If you refuse to pay for your music streaming and are willing to put up with those annoying pesky adverts, we have two recommendations. Use Spotify on your PC or laptop computer but on your mobile phone or tablets, go with the underdog Australian music streaming service, Guvera. We am very impressed with Guvera. It has a large library of songs and albums can be played with the occasional advert break. Guvera is available on Android and Apple iOS devices. Just a word of warning. We recommend that you are hooked up to a free Wi-Fi service when you are not at home, if mobile music streaming is your thing. We don't want to see you being hit with excessive data usage charges on your mobile phone bill.

If like us you love Aussie music, all streaming music services are ultimately such a disappointment. It was only recently that AC/DC finally became available on Spotify. The day when we can stream This Is Serious Mum, HITS, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Meanies, The Hard-Ons, Cosmic Psychos, Died Pretty, Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, Lime Spiders, The Masters Apprentices, Radio Birdman, Stevie Wright, The Fauves, Steve Kilbey, The Laughing Clowns, The Saints solo albums by Ed Kuepper & Chris Bailey and so forth...we would be happy little music streaming campers. That list of missing in action Australian artists is endless and so poorly represented. We keep on playing our personal vinyl and CD collections of brilliant Australian music, in the meantime because you won't be hearing us playing One Direction or Kayne in our office.
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